Sep 01

VMworld vBrownBag Tech Talk: Managing ESXi SSH Service with PowerCLI

Yesterday I did my first vBrownBag Tech Talk at VMworld. I was a bit nervous for sure and ended up being a little bit short on content (I talk a bit fast when I get nervous). Anyway I think it still went OK and I enjoyed giving it a shot.

The talk was on using PowerCLI to manage SSH. Specifically about using PowerCLI to report on the status of the SSH Service on ESXi host (is it running, what is the policy set for), updating the policy (Start and Stop with Host, Manual, Automatic), stopping and starting the SSH on ESXi hosts, and configuring the firewall for the SSH service to limit access to the service.

The slide deck from the talk can be found here: vBrownBag-TechTalk-ManagingSSH

Here is a short recording from the talk:

I also talked a bit about a script I put together as an example to toggle (start or stop) the SSH service on all hosts in vCenter inventory.

This afternoon at 5:00 PM PDT I am giving another vBrownBag Tech Talk on Managing vCenter Roles and Permissions using PowerCLI. Stop by the hang space or watch the live stream here: http://professionalvmware.com/brownbags/vbrownbags-live/
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Aug 24

vBrownBag Tech Talks at VMworld 2015

VMworld 2015 is just a few days away! The vBrownBag Tech Talks schedule for VMworld 2015 was released a couple weeks ago and can be found here http://professionalvmware.com/2015/08/vbrownbag-techtalks-schedule-vmworld-usa-2015/. As in the previous year the Tech Talks are being held in the Hang Space and there is a lot of great stuff on the schedule.

I will be giving 2 vBrownBag Tech talks this year.

Using PowerCLI to manage SSH on ESXi on Monday at 5:00 PM

and

Managing vCenter Roles and Permissions with PowerCLI on Tuesday at 5:00 PM

If you are not able to make VMworld the Tech Talks will be streamed live here: http://professionalvmware.com/brownbags/vbrownbags-live/

Hope to see you there!

Aug 10

Change IP Address on Windows 2012 VMs with PowerCLI

Just a quick script I put together to change the IP Address of Windows 2012 (including R2) virtual machines using PowerCLI. The script determines the current IP address of the VM and replaces part of the address with a defined value. For example if the original VM had an IP address of 192.168.1.25, it could change it to 172.28.238.25 – keeping the last octet of the IP address. Could be useful if restoring a bunch of VMs to a DR site or into a testing or development sandbox.

I am using the Invoke-VMScript to execute PowerShell and batch commands within the VM Guest. This requires VMware Tools to be installed on the Guest. I would have used Set-VMGuestNetworkInterface but Windows 2012 is not currently supported. :(
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Jul 06

Raspberry Pi Telescope Control

I have a Raspberry Pi which I received as a vExpert gift from SimpliVity a couple years ago. Over the 4th of July weekend I started tinkering with it to use it to interface with Stellarium in order to remotely control my telescope.

raspberrypi

I had a spare 8 GB SD card and I installed the Raspbian image on the card, booted, and configured the Raspberry Pi.

I also had an old USB to Serial adapter (which actually does not work with Windows 7/8, but the Raspberry Pi recognized it without issue) which is connected to one of the USB ports on the Raspberry Pi.

usb-serial
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Jul 01

vCenter 5.5 Tasks to Excel

Disclaimer: This is likely unsupported. I am doing this on my lab environment and have not experienced any issues, but again it is a lab environment. With that said use do the things in this post at your own risk.

I received an inquiry about ways to get information about vCenter tasks other than just through the vSphere Client. Specifically to make it easier to filter through the tasks to determine who did what, or even how many times a specific task (such as cloning a VM) was done.

Here are the tasks displayed in the vSphere Client.
vsphere-client-tasks
By default the number of tasks returned is 100 (I think). From the vSphere Web Client the Tasks list also only shows 100 tasks per page by default. There is a search/filter box in both clients but they are pretty basic. You cannot do complex searches, for example, cloning done by a certain user.

VPX_TASK table in the vCenter Database contains all the tasks which have not be purged based on the Database Retention policy (The Database Retention Policy is configured in Administration -> vCenter Server Settings -> Database Retention Policy).
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Jun 17

PowerCLI: Create vCenter Role and Assign User Permissions

Enjoyed SimpliVity SA new hire training over the last week and a half. Enjoyed the time with the SimpliVity team, still a lot to learn. Great company, cool tech, awesome folks.

With out going too deep, part of a SimpliVity deployment is preparing the VMware environment. Preparing the VMware environment includes creating a Role including the necessary Privileges and setting up the required permission in vCenter for a SimpliVity user. This is easy enough, but I created a PowerCLI script which creates a Role, applies the required Privileges to the Role, and applies the Role to a user as a permission in vCenter.

Even though I created this script specifically around the SimpliVity user requirements, with a few simple adjustments it could be used to automate the creation of any Role and Permission.

The PowerCLI script takes three parameters, -vCenter -Username -Domain, for the vCenter Server FQDN or IP Address, the Username, and the Domain of the user to assign the role to. All of these are required.

Usage:
Create_SimpliVity_Role.ps1 -vCenter vCenterFQDNorIP -Username Username -Domain AuthenticationDomain

For example:
Create_SimpliVity_Role.ps1 -vCenter vcenter.homelab.local -Username svtuser -Domain homelab

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Jun 05

A New Adventure…

A few weeks ago I accepted a new position and today is my last day with ABS Technology. ABS has been a great place to work. I have learned a lot over the past couple years. I have also had the opportunity to work with a lot of fantastic customers providing a wide array of data center support and solutions.

During my employment at ABS I began working on and obtained VCDX. I will be forever grateful for the support ABS provided as I worked towards obtaining this personal goal.

On Monday I start work as a Solutions Architect for SimpliVity.
simplivity-logo
The SimpliVity solution and their hyperconvergence vision is extremely interesting to me. The next few weeks will be busy with training and learning the new role. I can’t wait to get started working with the SimpliVity team and I am very excited to start this next chapter in my career.

I will miss the ABS family, especially the Data Center Team, but I am looking forward to what the future holds…

Jun 03

vCenter Settings and Alarm Configurations with PowerCLI

A quick PowerCLI script I put together to set a few of the General vCenter Configuration Settings such as the SMTP Server and port, the from email for messages generated by vCenter alarms, and setting the database retention policies for tasks and events.

vcenter-mailanddb

The script also configures the email action on a configured set of predefined alarms.

vcenter-alarms
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May 22

PowerCLI to change the Discovered virtual machine folder name

Are you bothered by the name of the default “Discovered virtual machine” folder in VMs and Templates? If there is more than one VM in the Folder shouldn’t it be “Discovered virtual machines”? But… what if there is only one VM in the folder then “Discovered virtual machines” would be wrong, crap.

Saw this tweet from @jasonboche earlier (Follow him, cause he is pretty awesome).
jasontweet
Apparently this is a real world problem :)

So just messing around (because it is better than work on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend) I put together a little PowerCLI to help out.
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May 21

VCP6-DCV Delta Study – Section 4 – Objective 4.2

This post covers Section 4, Upgrade a vSphere Deployment, Objective 4.2, Perform vCenter Server Upgrades

The vSphere Knowledge covered in this objective:

  • Identify steps required to upgrade a vSphere implementation
  • Identify upgrade requirements for vCenter
  • Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance (VCA)
  • Identify the methods of upgrading vCenter
  • Identify/troubleshoot vCenter upgrade errors

Objective 4.2 VMware Resources:

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